2:32 – Artemis’ Adventure! The Evil Animal Kingdom
Alternative Titles: Euthanasia Would Have Solved This
First Aired: 25th December 1993
Artemis is a complete screw-up. Not only is he condescending and manipulative, he’s also wildly incompetent, something that Luna repeatedly points out. After finally snapping, Artemis is eager to prove to Luna and the Senshi that he’s not completely useless, and thus attempts to solve the case of the evil acrobatic animals in a sanctuary (Esmeraude ran out of ideas quick). Alas, he really doesn’t do much to improve his reputation, mainly because he’s an idiot.
Firs things first, look what I was given as a gift:
I thought it was rather timely, considering this episode focuses on the cats. I can’t tell you how happy I was to get these, they’re very cool.
Anyway, this episode is a-ok. Not brilliant by any means, Artemis isn’t the most riveting character to follow around, but I do like that they spent time with him and Luna, and some of the jokes are pretty great.
Also, there are some very weird moments today.
The episode starts like Sebastian the talking crab fleeing a stereotypical French chef with a lot of time on his hands, but instead of The Little Mermaid it’s Artemis fleeing from a Japanese cook.
I don’t think you need to throw stuff at a cat, bro. You’ve got issues.
Artemis runs away to Usagi’s house. Instead of funding sympathy from his cat pal Luna, she merely derides him mercilessly for being a moron. If the show fits…
So what the hell was he doing in a kitchen? Apparently “looking for the enemy’s hideout“. What? In the freezer? These guys are from the future, you idiot. Luna pushes this pointing, stressing that he only seems to check places with food.
Remember all those times he was an ass to Usagi because she wasn’t Princess enough for him?
Luna’s nickname for Artemis is a little disappointing: “Stupid Cat” is a little on the nose.
Artemis tries to leave with some dignity having been insulted enough, only for Chibi-Usa to kick open Usagi’s bedroom door into his face. I think I’m going to like this episode.
As Chibi-Usa is tending to Artemis’ head, both Usagi and Luna are finding it increasingly difficult not to burst out laughing at the fellow. They fail miserably.
It’s rare to see Usagi and Luna so united over anything – Luna’s a lot less in the role of a mentor when Artemis is involved.
He walks off again in a huff, and Luna tells Usagi not to worry about it – “He’s just irritated because he hasn’t played a very active role lately.” Or ever, really. I suppose he’s done a good job acting as cannon fodder a couple of times…
Both Usagi and Luna seem to feel a little bad after this, and go out looking for him half-heartedly. Even the unquestionably dense Usagi thinks Luna was a little harsh on him. I quite enjoyed this role-reversal, odd to see Luna being told off.
Usagi offers to act as mediator. Luna isn’t impressed.
In Minako’s room (she’s knitting. I don’t know why I find this so weird, but I do), Artemis is obviously in a bad mood. I love his stance, these are the good animators, the ones who actually know how to draw cats.
In response to Minako’s questions, Artemis starts going on about his “pride as a man,” which makes me lose all sympathy for him… if I had any. This is a distinctly Japanese position, this idea of machismo and pride. Saying that, I think it’s a universal state of mind for idiots the world over, but the way in which he phrases it is very Japanese.
Incidentally, on my first day in Japan, I saw a middle-aged couple arguing fiercely and loudly in public (something very rare for Japanese people). The man paused, looked like he was about to explode, and shouted in very poor English, “I AM MAAAN”.
It was a rather alarming experience that I feel captured a microcosm of antiquated male identity in Japan. ANYWAY.
Minako rather astutely realises that Artemis has had a fight with Luna – what else would make him so upset? She gives out useless meaningless platitudes to cheer him up. Sadly, he’s such an idiot that he seems to have taken her words as actual advice, and decides to do something drastic to make Luna realise his potential.
Oh dear oh dear.
Usagi and Luna are running over to Minako’s place to apologise. Just as they turn a corner, however…
Well that was poor timing. Luna can’t help herself and calls him an idiot again – she’s rather cute when she’s mocking him, but it’s not like this was his fault.
Usagi begins to try and mediate, until Artemis points out she’s still standing on his head. When she takes he foot away and they see the footprint, how could they help but laugh again?
I’m laughing along with them, this is really good stuff, especially because it’s so rare that Usagi gets to laugh at someone else’s misfortune.
Poor Artemis buggers off again.
Rather randomly, he comes across a box of abandoned kittens on a garbage heap. What the frack? This was a weird transition. Also, how could you abandon kittens? An issue VERY close to my cat-loving heart I suppose.
Before Artemis can react, a very suspicious-looking man gets out of a car. With the dramatic music and Artemis spying on the scene, it sort of looks like the shifty man is abducting the kittens. You know, for sex. I mean, he really does look like a park paedophile.
After the man drives off with the kittens, Artemis decides that this his chance to do something great – by following a dude collecting animals? What the fuck have you been smoking, Artemis?
Next up is a mangy old dog – Artemis, in his infinite stupidity, seems to think that the animals are being “kidnapped“. Seriously, what the shazbutt is wrong with this cat?
Let’s leave that aside for now and see what Esmeraude is up to. She’s prowling the streets looking for another Negative Point. She really has a lack of style – Rubeus had an imposing UFO, cool maps, technology, funky windows, a cool team beneath him… Esmeraude just wanders about with no firm plan using an earring to dowse for stuff.
She’s not very interesting, is what I’m trying to say.
The new Negative Point is, in fact, a place called The Animal Kingdom, which is a sanctuary for abandoned pets. You can sort of see where this is going.
But what you don’t see coming is people on the streets beginning to giggle at Esmeraude. She thinks that the common folk are admiring her for her beauty, but in fact she’s being covered in piss from a dog.
This is hilarious, and I laugh heartily, but it’s another example of the complete lack of respect Esmeraude has as an antagonist – she’s just one big joke, not intimidating in the slightest. The fact that she chases after the dog screaming is just sad.
Meanwhile, the red car and the guy who is clearly planning to bone an old dog pulls into the Animal Kingdom, and Makoto and Ami just happen to noticed Artemis in the back seat. Well, Makoto did, Ami doesn’t seem to give a shit, more interested in her English vocabulary, which is hilarious.
SO. The Animal Kingdom is all lovely and that. No animals killing and eating each other, just harmony. We seem to have wondered into a Disney film again.
…Until we see the old man dropping off the animals to be checked up on by a vet. Esmeraude turns up, zaps them (no idea why) and replaces the vet with a Dark Henge and a Droid.
Called Dogba. Yeah. That’s a little weird. She looks a little like Calaveras with the dominatrix whip and stuff. Oh yeah, he special power is to make animals evil. You can tell by the glowing red eyes, I guess. This is rather like that time Nephrite got that old man to attack people with evil squirrels.
Out of all the things to recycle… evil animals…?
Aside from the eyes, the animals are obviously EVIL because they can now walk on they front paws.
WTF is the point? I dunno, I think the writers are trying to take the piss out of how weird they can get sometimes. I find it hilarious, if oddly off-putting.
The Senshi are discussing with Luna as to why Artemis would want to run away to the Animal Kingdom. Usagi puts forward the theory that Luna was so mean to him that he ran away, to which Luna scoffs (rightly), but the other girls seem convinced.
They all gang up on her and shame her into feeling bad. I guess she should a little… but they’re all still pretty mean.
We get imagined shots of Artemis being attacked by alligators, snakes and tigers, all of which are rather brilliant.
Chibi-Usa, under the impression that they’re off to the zoo to have fun, bursts in all ready to go, despite Usagi’s reluctance. Wouldn’t bother mentioning this, except that it comes back for a great punchline at the end.
In the Animal Kingdom, Artemis is all ready to leave, satisfied that the animals aren’t being mistreated, but when the (now evil) vet beings showing off her psychotic-looking circus animals, (and punctuating every sentence with a hearty “DOGBAAA!“, a clear warning sign), he begins to get a mite suspicious.
What the fuck is the plan here? Why is Dogba getting animals to form pyramids for the amusement of patrons? I have no clue. It looks insane. It’s so utterly mad.
Oh but then the animals totally being attacking everyone. Well this is more evil I guess.
Artemis, running away (the coward), bumps into Luna, who came looking for him. The two hide in a bin, and Luna tries to apologise, but really doesn’t seem that into it.
Artemis’ response is to double down, act like more of an idiot and begin walking back towards the enemies.
Luna, however, begins to follow him out of concern. It’s rather sweet really, until Artemis yells are her not to. She gets all haughty after having been worried about him and leaves. He’s such an idiot.
At least now he seems to realise that he’s just a stupid cat with no discernible ability to deal with evil animals… before running off to attack Dogba again anyway.
As Dogba is advancing on a group of scared citizens, the Dark Power beings to flow. I don’t know why. It’s not like she’s draining people of energy, it just seems to be that “EVIL ACTS” charge the Dark Henge. What’s up with that?
Usagi and Minako finally seem to realise that something funky is going down, and get their ass in gear. It’s Sailor Senshi Vs Evil Acrobatic Animals time!
Please don’t hurt them, yeah?
Dogba is wielding her, frankly, penis-esque whip, kocking out a whole bunch of people. I feel that the Senshi really are late today.
Artemis doesn’t wait around, but gets his ass kicked by kittens. God he’s lame. Dogba decides that he time is best spent tormenting a talking cat, for some reason.
It looks so weirdly comical when the evil dog kicks him… This episode is really out there.
Right, so Artemis is exactly where we thought he’d be, having not redeemed himself once. The final indignity is when he’s caught by a rope thrown by a goddamn evil monkey. SO WEIRD.
And Luna has to save his dumb ass. She begs him to realise that he’s a goddamn idiot, to the point of tears, and both get rather beaten up.
Where’s the goddamn Senshi, you ask? Well they finally turn up to save the cats. Sailor Moon and Sailor Venus’ entrance, although belated in the extreme, is rather fantastic – they’re back-to-back, and, well, just look at Venus’ hair:
And then the two get defeated by goddamn dogs.
Sailor Jupiter, Mars and Mercury actually work together rather cleverly, using their attacks to corral the animals into a single spot, then trapping them behind a wall with Shine Aqua Illusion.
Finally, a good use for that attack from Sailor Mercury! It’s taken a while.
And then Dogba totally makes things awkward by chaining all the Senshi around their necks. This is really goddamn weird, especially with the dominatrix vibe going on.
Artemis finally sees his chance to redeem himself! Aaaaaand…he gets his ass beaten by Dogba.
But this is, in fact, just enough time For Sailor Moon to pull a weird face and break free. Gosh, she’s got some muscles.
A Moon Princess Halation later and Dogba is but a confusing memory. Seriously, though, it’s going to be hard to forget this.
Esmeraude, pissed off that the Dark Henge broke, immediately gets pissed on herself once again. What a complete mess of a human. Honestly, is she ever going to provide a credible threat?
The episode ends with the Sailor Senshi frolicking with all the animals that just tried to kill them.
Luna takes him to call Artemis an idiot again, but concedes that he did OK.
The heroic effect is rather ruined when Chibi-Usa comes running into the zoo furious that Usagi ditched her. I think this might be a feeling you have to get used to, girl. She swings her bag wildly, throwing it into the air for some reason, and…
….well we couldn’t have the episode end with Artemis having any dignity left, could we?
All in all, a perfectly serviceable episode. Some very weird moments, but it worked well in a surreal sort of way. Artemis is an idiot… but they never try to pretend that he’s anything but. I also very much like Luna today too.
Still, I’m rather eager for the story to progress, but we have one more filler episode to go before the good stuff starts. It’s a pretty darn good filler episode, though.
Episode Score: 3/5
Monster Score: 4/5 (Weird, memorable, good design. Gotta love me some Dogba)
What Smells Like Dog Piss?: Oh It’s Emseraude